Auckland Council has endorsed a Downtown Framework which sets out 16 projects for the waterfront area.
Mayor Len Brown welcomed the framework, saying the council was leading the rebirth of the CBD.
Among the projects are an early start on the city rail link, turning Quay St into a boulevard and creating better access to the waterfront.
Councillor Cameron Brewer said the framework was a plan without any dollar signs.
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He said the plans amounted to $500 million and should be pared back.
A $47 million upgrade of Quay St should be deferred indefinitely, he said.